Evan's Favorite Books
Fall 2002

"The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind... and another...."

Where the Wild Things Are is one of those truly rare books that can be enjoyed equally by a child and a grown-up. If you disagree, then it's been too long since you've attended a wild rumpus. Max dons his wolf suit in pursuit of some mischief and gets sent to bed without supper. Fortuitously, a forest grows in his room, allowing his wild rampage to continue unimpaired.

"I do not like green eggs and ham!
I do not like them, Sam I Am!"

This timeless Dr. Seuss classic was first published in 1960, and has been delighting readers ever since. Sam-I-am is as persistent as a telemarketer, changing as many variables as possible in the hopes of convincing the nameless skeptic that green eggs and ham are a delicacy to be savored. He tries every manner of presentation with this "nouveau cuisine" -- in a house, with a mouse, in a box, with a fox, with a goat, on a boat -- to no avail. Then finally, finally the doubter caves under the tremendous pressure exerted by the tireless Sam-I-am. And guess what? Well, you probably know what happens, but even after reading Green Eggs and Ham the thousandth time, the climactic realization that green eggs and ham are "so good, so good, you see" is still a rush. As usual, kids will love Dr. Seuss's wacky rhymes and whimsical illustrations -- and this time, they might even be so moved as to finally take a taste of their broccoli.

Evan likes broccoli, by the way.

This book also exists in video format, which of course we have, so now Evan prefers to watch the video instead of having one of us read the book to him.

"What's that smell?
Oh, it's you!"

If your pre-schoolers love Bear in the Big Blue House on TV, they will adore this book. Jim Henson has over the years created some very lovable characters. Bear has to be one of the best so far. In this "Lift the Flap" book we get to meet all of Bear's friends. We have Pip and Pop covered in suds in the bath. And then there's Treelo under the bed covers and Ojo under the sofa. Open the shutters and look out the attic window. Who do we see? It's our special friend Luna.

A perfect bed time book for the young ones. "Good night, my friend" says Bear.

Small feet
Big feet
Here come pig feet

With rhymes like this, you know you're in Dr. Seuss territory. One of Seuss' "Bright and Early" books for beginner readers, this book combines extremely simple rhyming vocabulary with colorful, charming illustrations. While "The Foot Book" is not quite in the same league with Dr. Seuss' most imaginative and innovative works, it is still a very enjoyable book. And it contains several characteristically "Seussian" characters, including 6-, 8-, and 10-legged creatures that look like they stepped out of a child-friendly science fiction film.

Vroom! Vroom! goes the truck climbing over the ridge.
Something fun lies ahead just beyond the big bridge!"

In the great green room
There was a telephone
And a red balloon
And a picture of...

Perhaps the perfect children's bedtime book, Goodnight Moon is a short poem of goodnight wishes from a young rabbit preparing for -- or attempting to postpone -- his own slumber. He says goodnight to every object in sight and within earshot, including the "quiet old lady whispering hush." Clement Hurd's illustrations are simple and effective, alternating between small ink drawings and wide, brightly colored views of the little rabbit's room.

Finding all of the items mentioned throughout the book within the pictures is a good bedtime activity -- a reappearing little mouse is particularly pesky. By the end of the little rabbit's goodnight poem, the story has quieted to a whisper, and the drawings have darkened with nightfall. As you turn the last page, you can expect a sleepy smile and at least a yawn or two.

If you give a mouse a cookie
He's going to want a glass of milk...

Who would ever suspect that a tiny little mouse could wear out an energetic young boy? Well, if you're going to go around giving an exuberantly bossy rodent a cookie, you'd best be prepared to do one or two more favors for it before your day is through. For example, he'll certainly need a glass of milk to wash down that cookie, won't he? And you can't expect him to drink the milk without a straw, can you? By the time our hero is finished granting all the mouse's very urgent requests -- and cleaning up after him -- it's no wonder his head is becoming a bit heavy. Laura Joffe Numeroff's tale of warped logic is a sure-fire winner in the giggle-generator category. But concerned parents can rest assured, there's even a little education thrown in for good measure: underneath the folly rest valuable lessons about cause and effect. Felicia Bond's hilarious pictures are full of subtle, fun details.